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Common ancestor prior to surnames

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  • Common ancestor prior to surnames

    My dad has a genetic distance of 5-7/67 with people with several different surnames. Many of these matches also have a null 425. I've found that most of these surnames are associated (either historically or by self-report) with the south Ulster or north Leinster areas of Ireland. Some of the surnames, including ours, are specifically associated with the Airghialla tribes who controlled south Ulster from about the 4th - 12th centuries AD. There may also be a tie to the southern O'Neill. Is it reasonable to believe these matches may suggest a common ancestor from one of the tribes in this area prior to the adoption of surnames? The geographic clustering seems strong to me.

  • #2
    Common Ancestor Prior to Surnames

    I have a similar situation, especially with Ulster surnames. Most of mine are associated by family or by geography with the Maguires of Fermanagh. These persist out to 67 markers and none have my surname. I suggest that if you are with FTDNA that you join the FTDNA Ulster Heritage Group headed by Barry McCain. On your personal page, at the upper left you will see an icon for "Join", click on it, select the "U" heading and join the Ulster Heritage Group. Also, see their website at It is all interesting but the most immediately interesting think you find will be under the Y-DNA link. When that page is shown, click on the DNA Results and select to see the details. they show the results for all of their members and are arranged by family or clan or by haplogroup. I think you will be well rewarded if you do this, particularly since you have the 67 marker test out of the way. Barry also is doing some family history work for me on a yearly retainer. I have better matches with Donn Mhor Magurie than does a Maguire who can document his history back to the same ancestor. The indications are that I am either descended from this Maguire or from a common ancestor of his. I think you are on the right track.